Your Ford Escort is a dependable car with great fuel economy. If you notice large amounts of black materials in the fluid however, either your torque converter, clutches or transmission is damaged.
Torque converter shudder fells like a slight to heavy vibration in the transmission, and is usually accompanied by an interruption in power transfer. It generally occurs at part throttle and light acceleration, between 15 and 50 miles per hour, just before the shift to one of the top gears where the converter reaches "lock-up.".
Choosing a Torque Converter. Most manufacturers categorize torque converters by size and stall speed. Performance Automatic, for example, makes it easy for you to choose a torque converter for your street or race application because, on its website, it explains the differences.